Tshwane hospital which only deals with Covid-19 patients has had over 600 admissions to date

A Covid-19 ward at the Tshwane district hospital in Pretoria, Gauteng
A Covid-19 ward at the Tshwane district hospital in Pretoria, Gauteng
News24/Alex Mitchley
  • Tshwane District Hospital was emptied and now only deals with Covid-19 patients.
  • In April, the hospital only had 11 Covid-19 patients.
  • The hospital has now admitted over 600 patients, 33 of which have died.

The Tshwane District Hospital, which was decanted and is now a Covid-19 patient only hospital, has admitted over 600 patients since April.

Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize, along with Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku, visited the hospital in Pretoria on Friday to assess the preparations as Covid-19 cases begin to surge in the province.

Masuku said the hospital had been emptied to deal strictly with Covid-19 patients.

He said a number of patients had been treated successfully, including a young child and an elderly lady with multiple comorbidities.

Mathabo Mathebula, CEO of Steve Biko Academic Hospital, which is linked to Tshwane District Hospital, said in April that they started with 11 Covid-19 patients and have since admitted more than 600 patients to the hospital.

She added that most of the patients had made full recoveries - and, to date, 33 patients had died at the hospital.

READ HERE | Dis-Chem stops Covid-19 testing amid big backlog, 'unanticipated' spike in Gauteng

Mathebula added that all the patients at the district hospital were Covid-19 positive, but not everyone was there strictly for Covid-19 treatment.

Operations

Patients needing operations or patients who are pregnant, but had also tested positive for the virus, have been admitted.

Masuku said the visit demonstrated the capacity of the hospital, but added that they would continue to build and expand beds as they respond to the pandemic.

Mkhize was also shown the triage tents, which has been set up at the hospital for new patients.

Walk-ins are immediately separated in the triage tents and those who are suspected of having Covid-19 are kept in the tents - until their status is confirmed.  

READ | SA's first approved Covid-19 antibody test will cost less than R300

If it is confirmed that they have contracted the virus, they will be taken into the hospital for treatment.

Covid-19, Tshwane District Hospital
Healthcare workers at the triage tents at the Tshwane district hospital in Pretoria, Gauteng. (Alex Mitchley, News24)
None News24/Alex Mitchley

Masuku told the media that, even as patients waited for admission to the hospital, they still needed to be treated. The triage tents had the capacity for intensive care treatment, including oxygen and intravenous treatment.

The triage tents at the Tshwane District Hospital have been operating for the past three months.

READ HERE | Alcohol sales ban back in the spotlight amid complaints to govt's coronavirus command council

Mathebula also wanted the public to know that the triage tents, which she also called the fever tents, are not a way for the patients to be discarded or to keep them from being admitted. It was rather that they would be treated at the tents until their Covid-19 status is known.

Those who test positive are then transferred to Steve Biko Academic Hospital for treatment.

Mkhize was happy with the hospital's preparations and operations ahead of the expected peak in the province.

Covid-19, Tshwane District Hospital
An elevator for Covid-19 patients at the Tshwane district hospital in Pretoria, Gauteng. (Alex Mitchley, News24)
None News24/Alex Mitchley

As of 9 July, there were a total of 13 246 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Tshwane.

The municipality also recorded 3 061 recoveries and 72 deaths.

According to the Gauteng Provincial Command Council's weekly Covid-19 update on Friday, Tshwane still has a total of 1 970 beds available for Covid-19 in both public and private hospitals.

READ | Covid-19 is not a 'notifiable disease' in our policies, says Santam in court papers

In Gauteng, there are 81 546 confirmed cases of the virus as of Thursday.

The province has recorded 23 804 recoveries and 515 deaths.

A total of 3 006 patients are currently admitted to hospitals across the province.

Of those, 197 are on ventilators, with a further 551 on oxygen in intensive care units and high care units.

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